Old Fashioned School Salad Dressing?

When I was in grade school (in the 70's in Ohio), back when schools made everything from scratch because it was cheaper, the school made a sweet salad dressing that I would love to find the recipe for. It was what made me love salads. It was a clear dressing probably just sugar and oil and vinegar, but I cant find a recipe anywhere that tastes the same. Any suggestions?


By Peggy from Erwin, TN

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

If you can describe the taste a bit I could help search for it. Does it taste similar to French or to Thousand Island? If so, I might even have a couple clear ones in my collection ;-)

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

I know at my old school it was watered down french dressing. It was actually pretty good. The bitter/tartness wasn't as bad.

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

At my school in Florida they just spooned on salad dressing- the kind that comes in a jar that looks like a mayonnaise jar. They sell it next to the mayo in the grocery store.


Unlike mayo it has a sweet taste. I hated the stuff and never touched a school salad, but there are people who like it. They had great homemade rolls at school though.

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

I would love to find a good tasting salad dressing too.
Hope you get some feedback.

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

one egg
one cup of oil

Put the egg in the blender and pulse for a few seconds. Take the plastic thingy off the blender top, while blender is running, stream in the oil slowly. It will emulsify and get a great thick creamy mayonnaise look. Run in some vinegar until the consistency is how you want it.


about 1/2 teaspoon of salt

The finished product is actually home-made mayonnaise! You can then whisk in your favorite seasonings (garlic and a touch of celery salt are tasty. Mix in the honey until you get it as sweet as you like. If you add ketchup and relish it will be "french" salad dressing. Just keep fooling around with seasonings until you get the taste that you want.

If you season a tablespoon at a time it will give you an opportunity to sample the seasonings until you find the taste that you like best before seasoning the rest of the batch.

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

I grew up in the 70's too, and I'm from Eastlake, OH! LOL I agree, school lunches were really good back then!


here are a few recipes to try:
(this is my favorite, my mom makes it-I know my best friend fell in love with salad dressing as a result of this!)
Mom's Dressing:
2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinager
¼ or more (to taste) sugar
1 cup mayonnaise or miricle whip (mom does miricle whip, I do mayo...)
milk to consistency
pepper to taste (this really adds something!)

Salad Dressing:
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of mustard
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
Half a cup of olive oil
mix all ingredients except the oil. Thendrop the oil in, tablespoon at a time for an extra smooth consistency.
If you want, you can just mix all the ingredients in a container and shake.

Hope one of these hits the spot!

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks for the reminder. My mom made a similar dressing, and it was just vinegar, oil, sugar, and a few spices. I'd try 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, and start with 3 T sugar, you might add a little more. Add salt, pepper, and whatever else you like, dill, basil, etc.


I'm going to do this soon.

My favorite dressing tastes like British Salad Cream, and is just 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar. Sometimes I use lemon juice instead of vinegar. I use the same for cole slaw, fruit/gelatin salad, or salad (by the way, I almost always put some fruit in my salad)

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September 1, 20090 found this helpful

Take a coffee cup (we use Corelle) fill it half way with sugar. Add two tablespoons cider vinegar. Fill to top of cup with water, stir. No oil needed. Toss with lettuce. Surprisingly good.

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September 2, 20090 found this helpful

Have you tried Good Season's Italian dressing mix? It is a dry mix in an envelope. You just add oil and vinegar and I add a teaspoon of splenda (or sugar). It is the only Italian style dressing I like and I use a little extra vinegar and water and less oil - that way it saves a few calories!


Most stores carry their own brand of dressing mix and the ones I have tried are just as good as the name brands. Hope this helps

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April 15, 20110 found this helpful

In a one cup measuring cup add one fourth cup water, one fourth cup vinegar, one fourth cup sugar and one forth cup oil.

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July 3, 20110 found this helpful

Schools should still cook food like we had in the 60's & 70's. We had wonderful simple food. Have you eaten in a school cafeteria in the last few years, might as well go to McDonalds it is almost all fast food and the combinations they put together, makes you wonder where they get their ideas.

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June 1, 20130 found this helpful

I have made this mayonaise for more than 50 years. You need to mix together 1 teasp. dry mustard, 1/2 teasp salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 tin condensed milk. I usually make a double amount in a large jar, it is yummy & I often eat it off a teaspoon.

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May 22, 20160 found this helpful

But condensed milk is sweet!! Can you taste the sweetness even with the added ingredients? Thanks

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May 9, 20180 found this helpful

this may be it. i loved that school salad dressy, too

1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well incorporated.  Taste for seasonings and adjust.
Place in an airtight container and store in refrigerator.

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January 10, 20190 found this helpful

Ok so Im from upstate ny and have been searching for the same recipe. The answer is usda recipe cards used for school cafeterias. whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/.../italian-dressing I think this is the link to the recipe u r looking for. I put that dressing on everything in school.

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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

Dear Peggy,
I live in Ohio and was wondering the exact same thing as you when I stumbled across your post.
I've done some experimentation and it tastes pretty similar to the old school clear salad dressing, you'll have to try it just make a small batch.
What I came up with is: two parts sugar two parts white vinegar in one part of seasonings you would like it tastes very similar to me.
Try it and let me know what you think.
Your friend from Ohio Carlton

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